Technology Utilization Plan Guidelines

The integration of technology into community program efforts is important. The Technology Utilization Plan should convey how technology resources (i.e., hardware, software, etc.) will be used to support and enhance the educational program at local community sites. This plan should summarize the deployment of information technology associated with the grant and the planned uses of the technology supported by the grant objectives.

  1. Summary of hardware, software, and connectivity request to support this effort
    1. Identify the number of computers and other devices requested or associated with the grant, where they will be placed, and their primary users (i.e., staff, volunteers, public access, etc.).
    2. Identify the method in which these computers and devices will be connected to the Internet or university network. Please include technology used (i.e., modem, DSL, wireless, campus network), Internet service provider (i.e., telecommunications company, university, cable system), and source of funding for the connections if applicable. If the connectivity option has not been identified, provide a brief plan for selecting connectivity or options currently under consideration.
    3. Identify how project staff and local sites will gain access to technical support. This includes training and access to Internet services such as e-mail (i.e., university accounts, telecommunications accounts) and web.
    4. If you are planning to use technology outside of that funded by the project, please provide a brief description of these additional devices.
    5. Provide a brief information technology training plan to ensure staff and participants have the skills to use available technology and online resources.
    6. Provide e-mail addresses and names of the program staff so CYFAR listservs can be updated.
  2. Provide a brief summary of how the technology will be used to enhance the program management and the professional development, collaboration, and scholarship efforts of the project staff. For example, the technology will
    1. facilitate communication between individuals or within groups.
    2. be a resource for demonstration and education in community development.
    3. be used to access and/or manage educational resources in the community project.
    4. be used for administrative support of the local community site.
    5. be used to enhance the professional skills and knowledge base of program staff.
    6. be used to monitor and record program activities, participation, and details needed for program reports
    7. be used to collaborate in the development of program activities and briefs on lessons learned, which will then be submitted for publication on CYFERnet.
    8. be used enhance multi-site and multi-state work.
  3. Consider how to use technology to support and enhance evaluation of your program.
    1. Use of online forms and surveys to collect data.
    2. Check the logs and statistics to determine the number of people who access your program site and online resources.
    3. Use existing item databases to create “on the fly” instruments that meet local needs and facilitate common variable definition and data aggregation.
    4. Locate sample evaluation tools and resources.
    5. Check evaluation implementation guidelines.
  4. Consider how to use technology to support and enhance the sustainability of your program. Some strategies may include
    1. Create a two to three year plan to replace and expand computer hardware, software collection, and related furniture and supplies.
    2. Include a technology line item in your annual budget to proactively plan how you will meet your technology needs.
    3. Talk with collaborators and funders about potential to share resources and obtain funding or slightly used resources.
  5. Provide a brief summary of how the technology will be used to enhance the participant programming. You may want to begin by
    1. Identifying the program participant number, age range (for consideration of attention span, reading level, hand-eye coordination, finger dexterity, etc.), and technology skill level and motivation (starting point, how quickly to advance).
    2. Identifying program focus in terms of guiding principles, content or topic, and life skills to clarify how technology can best support your goals.
    3. Identifying program structure: frequency with which participants attend (e.g., daily, monthly), length of time (e.g., 30 minutes, 3 hours), and other program components (e.g., snack, physical activity, talking about your day) to determine time available and possibilities to integrate technology into program.
    4. Identifying infrastructure in terms of participant access and use: what technology is available or could be available? Will participants have to share or take turns? What technologies are mobile?
    5. Compiling information about your infrastructure taking into consideration your participants, program focus, and program.
Author(s), Presenter(s): 
CYFERnet Technology Team
Year published or updated: